EastEnders’ Diane enjoys Christmas soap rivalry

EastEnders star Diane Parish has revealed that she loves the competition between the soaps at Christmas.

The actress, who plays Denise Fox in the BBC drama, described a dose of competitiveness during the festive period as “fun”.

“It wouldn’t be any fun if there wasn’t a competition, and it’s great,” she told BBC Breakfast.

Diane’s alter-ego gets embroiled in the ongoing storyline about Yusef Khan (Ace Bhatti) as she teams up with Masood Ahmed (Nitin Ganatra) to rescue abused Zainab Masood (Nina Wadia) in upcoming episodes.

“That’s fantastic, because we get to move around the Square and be involved in all of the characters’ different situations. The fact that Denise is a very good friend of Zainab’s, that kicks her into another mode,” she explained.

“It’s usually Denise that’s on the wrong side of the trouble! But this time, she sort of comes to the rescue a little bit with Zainab. And then by Christmas, she starts having her problems again!”

The 42-year-old continued: “There’s so many different textures to this show and so many different ways to be involved. And being involved in Christmas is very, very exciting. It’s going to be a great one, actually.”

Diane hopes EastEnders will fare well in the Yuletide race: “I hope people do tune in. You’ll be missing out if you don’t! It’s a fantastic couple of episodes we’ve got this Christmas, and the run-up to Christmas.”